Torture by Authorities in  [Argentina]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Argentina]  [other countries]

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2020                         

Argentine Republic (Argentina)

Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Although one of the world's wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Argentina

Argentina is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Many victims are trafficked within the country, from rural areas to urban centers, for forced prostitution. Some Argentine women and girls are trafficked to neighboring countries, Mexico, and Western Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. Foreign women and children, primarily from Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, are trafficked to Argentina for the same purpose. A significant number of Bolivians, Paraguayans, and Peruvians are trafficked into the country for forced labor in sweatshops and agriculture. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009 [full country report] … Also, check out this country report, located in the more recent edition TIP Report


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Argentina.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.


Clamping Down on Human Trafficking

Marcela Valente, IPS-Inter Press Service, Buenos Aires, November 8, 2006

[accessed 19 January 2011]

[accessed 4 September 2016]

Susana Trimarco, whose daughter was kidnapped in 2002, told IPS that the proposal for a specific policy is an encouragement to her in her search for her daughter.  Trimarco, who attended the seminar, was able to prove that her daughter Marita Verón, 24, fell into the hands of a sexual exploitation ring. After she was kidnapped, her mother obtained testimonies from other teenagers and young people, also victims of trafficking, who had seen her in different places of captivity in several provinces in the country.  Although she has not been able to find her daughter, the investigative work she and other activists have carried out has led to the rescue of 94 people.

Global March Worst Forms of Child Labour Report 2005

The US Dept. of Labor's 2003 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

[accessed 16 August 2012]

CHILD SLAVERY - . In a recent raid by the police, Bolivian boys were discovered working as slaves in an Argentine factory; These boys were forced to work 19-hour shifts, they are prohibited from leaving, and they are often beaten to keep up the pace. Authorities are still investigating how these undocumented youths slipped past the border. The minors continued to work for almost two years, still receiving no pay, and falling into further debt imposed by their 'owners.' All too often those who risk coming to the city center find themselves working in factory jobs in conditions of contemporary slavery.


*** ARCHIVES ***

2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 12 March 2019]

[accessed 24 June 2019]


Forced labor occurred. The Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security carried out 300,000 inspections during the 2016-17 term and found various irregularities and potential cases of forced labor, four of which became formal judicial complaints. Efforts to hold perpetrators accountable continued during the year, including the sentencing in September of a rural employer to three and a half years of prison for labor trafficking involving a farmhand, his wife, and their four children. Most of the victims were discovered on agricultural farms and in commercial and service activities. Employers subjected a significant number of Bolivians, Paraguayans, and Peruvians, as well as Argentines from poorer northern provinces, to forced labor in the garment sector, agriculture, construction, domestic work, and small businesses (including restaurants and supermarkets). There were reports that Chinese citizens were victims of forced labor in supermarkets. Men, women, and children were victims of forced labor, although victims’ typical gender and age varied by employment sector.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 19 March 2020]


Violence against women remains a serious problem. Activists continue to hold highly visible protests and events aimed at drawing attention to the issue. According to official data, less than 5 percent of murder cases against women from 2018 ended in convictions.


Some industries like garment and brick production profit from the forced labor of men, women, and children from Argentina as well as from neighboring countries; forced labor is also present in the agriculture sector and among domestic workers and street vendors. Exploitation is made easier by the prevalence of informal work: more than a third of Argentines work in the informal sector, without proper benefits or formal legal protections.

Men, women, and children are subject to sex trafficking. The government maintained the use of a hotline to facilitate investigations and has worked to identify more victims, deliver antitrafficking trainings, and prosecute officials involved in trafficking, according to the US State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 15 April 2019]

[accessed 22 April 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 106]

Although the extent of the problem is unknown, reports indicate that girls from Argentina’s Northern provinces are victims of human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. (51; 52) Bolivian children and children of Bolivian immigrants in Argentina engage in child labor in agriculture, production of bricks, and domestic service, and in forced child labor in the production of garments. (16; 44; 53; 37) Reports also indicate that Paraguayan children are victims of trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation in Argentina. (54; 51)

In 2017, adults used girls as young as 13 years old to distribute drugs in nightclubs. (47) In the Northern and Western provinces, indigenous children were used to move drugs across the border. (55; 56; 57).

Argentina Rescues 700 from Human Traffickers in 7 Months

Victoria Rossi, In Sight, 21 August 2012

[accessed 11 June 2013]

Most of the trafficking victims, principally women and children, had been sexually exploited and forced into labor, the report by the Office for Rescue and Care of Victims of Trafficking stated. Of the 712 people recovered during more than 300 raids across the country, 85 were below the age of 18. Nearly 370 hailed from outside Argentina.

Many of the victims were financially desperate and had been lured by false advertisements for nanny or modeling positions, said Zaida Gatti, the coordinator of rescue efforts, reported El Universal newspaper. Others had been kidnapped, Gatti said.

ARGENTINA: Recruiting Celebs Against Trafficking in Women

Marcela Valente, IPS-Inter Press Service, Buenos Aires, Mar 15 , 2007

[accessed 19 January 2011]

[accessed 4 September 2016]

One case that attracted public notice in Argentina is that of Marita Verón, 23, who was kidnapped in the northwestern province of Tucumán in 2002. Her mother, Susana Trimarco, has been looking for her ever since, and although she has not found Marita yet, her search has shed light on the nature of the trade, and has secured the release of many other young women.

Trimarco, honoured this month as a "Woman of Courage" by the U.S. State Department, infiltrated provincial brothels to find information which led to the rescue of nearly 100 young women, the prosecution of 24 members of recruiting networks, and the removal from office of a judge who was accused of being an accomplice.  However, she said there was a lack of political will to combat the organisations that dupe women with fancy job offers.

Trimarco said the information she has received from the families of other victims and from the police indicates that there are about 500 missing young women in Argentina who may have been trapped by human traffickers. One of them is her daughter Marita, who according to several testimonies collected by Trimarco is still alive.

Open letter from Amnesty International to the Governor of Santa Fe Province, Sr. Jorge Obeid

Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International, February 6, 2004 -- Index Number: AMR 13/003/2004

[accessed 19 January 2011]

[accessed 26 May 2017]

Sandra Cabrera had complained publicly, and to the provincial authorities, about the continuous harassment of female sex workers and extortion on the part of members of the provincial police force, providing dates and the names of those responsible. As you are no doubt aware, in December 2003 Sandra Cabrera was subjected to a beating in her home by unidentified individuals, while the police protection she had finally been granted was outside her front door. Our information is that on Friday, 23 January 2004, Sandra Cabrera had accompanied one of her friends, Stella Maris Longoni, and confirmed the latest complaint before the Rosario Prosecutor’s Office against members of the Departamento de Moralidad(vice squad ) for extortion and harassment.

ILO to mark World Day Against Child Labour

International Labour Organization (ILO) News, Geneva, June 10, 2003 -- Reference: ILO/03/29

[accessed 28 August 2012]

FROM LATIN AMERICA - The Triple Border region - where Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil intersect - is a vast area with porous borders, major regional commercial and tourism centres and a population of almost 500,000. The lack of vigorous border checks and law enforcement in the region facilitates illegal commerce, including weapons, drugs and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, April 10, 2002

[accessed 19 January 2011]

[61] In light of articles 32 to 36 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Undertake a study on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in order to assess its scope and causes and develop effective monitoring and other preventive measures;

The Protection Project - Argentina

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

[accessed 22 February 2016]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Thousands of women have been trafficked from the Dominican Republic to Argentina for forced prostitution.  A recent study revealed that the majority of Dominican female migrants in Argentina were 20 to 39 years of age and almost 90 percent had children, most of whom were left in the Dominican Republic in the care of others. Most of the women paid US$2,000 for the trip to Argentina, where they were promised work as domestic helpers for US$500 to US$800 per month. More than 50 percent had been forced into prostitution. 

Women and girls are trafficked into Argentina from Paraguay expecting to work as domestic employees but are then forced into prostitution. Bolivian women and children are trafficked to Argentina for domestic servitude as well as prostitution.  In July 2000, Bolivian nationals trafficked 24 Bolivian girls to Argentina for purposes of prostitution. The brothel owner’s mother recruited children from outdoor markets in the rural areas of Bolivia, promising the children and their parents that the children could work as criaditas, or little maids, in Argentina. The children traveled by plane and were accompanied by the brothel owner’s husband. When the case was brought to light, 16 of the girls were repatriated. The remaining girls, legally adults at the time of the investigation, remained in Argentina. The recruiter, the brothel owner’s husband, the owner of the travel agency where the tickets and visas were obtained, and the brothel owner were charged with forcing minors into prostitution.

Human Rights Overview

Human Rights Watch

[accessed 19 January 2011]


Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights:

2018 Edition

[accessed 22 April 2020]


Some sectors of the charcoal and brick-producing industries profit from the forced labor of men, women, and children from Argentina as well as from neighboring countries; forced labor is also present in the agriculture sector and among domestic workers and street vendors. Men, women, and children are subject to sex trafficking. The government has taken steps to better fund programs to assist victims of human trafficking and draw public awareness to the problem, according to the U.S. State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 4 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – While there were no official reports on the activities of traffickers, the media reported that traffickers often presented themselves as employment agencies or even as individual recruiters. Traffickers confiscated travel documents to prevent victims from appealing to authorities for protection. Victims, particularly women and girls in prostitution, may be denied contact with the outside world. Victims often were threatened or beaten.

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [c] While the law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, including by children, there were reports that such practices occurred.  An investigation into an apparent case of forced labor involving potentially hundreds of Bolivian citizens working in clothing sweatshops in Flores Sur, a neighborhood in the city of Buenos Aires, was underway at year's end. A federal judge declined to review the case, citing lack of jurisdiction, and referred the case to the National Court of First Instance. Some of the workers involved appealed the federal judge's decision, and the case remained pending at year's end.

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 19 January 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Children are trafficked to Argentina from Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay for sexual exploitation and labor.  Argentine children are trafficked from rural to urban areas of the country and there is some trafficking of children abroad, mainly into prostitution in Brazil and Paraguay.

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Torture by Authorities in  [Argentina]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Argentina]  [other countries]